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Open mike 14/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 14th, 2012 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 14/04/2012”

  1. LynW 1

    Very interesting read. Brian Gaynor’s article Why the kiwi can’t catch the kangaroo

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10798650

    Brian Gaynor summarises by quoting from a recently published United States book, Why Nations Fail by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson, which he says looks at the issues that could explain New Zealand’s poor economic performance. According to the authors:
    “Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investment in new technologies and skills are more conductive to economic growth than extractive economic institutions that are structured to extract resources from the many by the few.”

    He then goes on to say “New Zealand’s original privatisation programme, in which a few individuals became extraordinarily wealthy, and our failure to regulate the 1980s sharemarket boom and recent finance company debacles are examples of political and institutional failures, particularly by the defunct Securities Commission.

    These failures have enabled a few to become extremely wealthy at the expense of the many.”

    • We need to stop attaching all our self worth to how we compare with the Australian dollar. They are very different economies in terms of markets and major exports. Australia is in the middle of a minerals boom, the same and Canada and a huge reason why both currencies are so strong against the greenback. We may have lower wages but we need to look at the other things that make this country worth living, GDP growth is not the be all and end all.

      Access to beautiful beaches, the ability to catch a fish for free, a mild climate, lots of hiking and wilderness areas and relatively low crime rates are all things we should be extremely proud of and happy about yet many NZers take this for granted.

      Richard Heinberg on creating a new economy and moving away from GDP as the be all and end all measure of “progress”:
      \
      “Bhutan has already done impressive work along these lines, beginning in the early 1970s, developing a “Gross National Happiness” indicator and continuing to refine methods of measuring personal, social, and environmental well-being. This tiny Himalayan, mostly Buddhist, kingdom of 800,000 still has a low per capita GDP, but its citizens are among the happiest in the world. The current King and Prime Minister are evidently unwilling to rest on these accomplishments; they have set their sights on global happiness.

      The conference featured opening statements from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the President of the UN General Assembly, the President of Costa Rica, and official representatives of France, Australia, the UK, Israel, Morocco, and Thailand. Renowned economists Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz spoke of the limitations and perversity of GDP and of recent efforts to develop alternatives. All the speakers seemed delighted to endorse the notion that happiness is a desirable societal goal.

      Fittingly, the boldest and most eloquent statement of the day came from Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley, the Prime Minister of Bhutan, who observed that GDP growth is killing the planet, destroying our future, and making humanity less equitable and, on the whole, more miserable. This framing of the situation placed him on one side of a subtle (and in fact never clearly articulated) divide that persisted throughout the conference—a schism between those who see GDP growth as fine and necessary, especially for poor nations, though needing supplementation with growth in other dimensions; and those who see further GDP expansion as unattainable or undesirable.”

      http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-239-talking-happiness

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Cool. I read a related piece where Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley was quoted as saying:

        “We need to rethink our entire growth-based economy so that we can thrive more effectively on our own resources in harmony with nature. We do not need to accept as inevitable a world of impending climate chaos and financial collapse,”

        and more:

        “Economic growth is mistakenly seen as synonymous with wellbeing. The faster we cut down forests and haul in fish stocks to extinction, the more GDP grows. Even crime, war, sickness, and natural disasters make GDP grow, simply because these ills cause money to be spent,”

        at:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/02/bhutan-world-suicidal-path

  2. LynW 2

    Also encouraging to read the Herald’s editorial – Parental leave bill deserves a fair hearing-

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10798703

    “Within days of the bill being drawn from the members’ ballot, Finance Minister Bill English said National would use its veto rights to scupper it even if it enjoyed majority support. That approach is as unsound as it is precipitate.”

    “But, even more pertinently, a select committee would also consider a proposal advanced last year by the Children’s Commissioner. Dr John Angus suggesting restructuring the mix of parental leave entitlements and subsidised childcare, so they best met the needs of young children.”

    “This is not an issue in which National and Act will find themselves lined up only against their normal opponents, Labour, the Greens and the Mana Party. There is substantial support in Parliament for an initiative that would underline the importance of caring for babies at home.

    National should be prepared to allow the legislation to go through a select committee. It could then gauge public sentiment. It might also find that trade-offs and compromises produced a bill that was affordable. And it would be spared the embarrassment that would come from exercising its powers in a dubious manner to ignore the will of Parliament.”

    • Fortran 2.1

      Under Helen Clark Labour used the veto 31 times.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        For amendments to legislation, not entire bills.
        This will be the first time a government has shown so much conceit coupled with so little control over the House.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        How many times did they veto a whole bill? Announcing that they would before the bill had even been introduced?

        You are an idiot lying with numbers.

        • Ed 2.1.2.1

          Did Labour ever exercise the veto when it even appeared possible that they would not have a majority of MPs who could have voted the amendment down in any case?

  3. Carol 3

    And here we have the “global freemarket” at work, finding ways to cheat, steal, or by-pass NZ’s (and other’s) tax laws. In the process they make a mockery of Blinglish’s plan to “balance the government books” by raising GST and lowering taxes for the rich.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6741475/Trade-Me-global-deal-skips-GST

    Trade Me has struck a deal with a United States online middleman that will help foreign brands sell goods to Kiwi consumers through Trade Me free of GST.

    […]
    The association estimated a “loophole” under which people can import goods up to a threshold of between $240 and $400 without paying GST or duty was costing government coffers $100million in foregone taxes. It is lobbying for the threshold to be removed.

    “We are having discussions with a number of government agencies and politicians. It is a question of fairness and equity,” Albertson said. “Why should the government subsidise overseas retailers? This is not just a New Zealand issue. This is becoming a global issue in countries where there is a significant tax-free threshold.”

    And my guess is that the goods bought through this tax rort, will be the “nice to haves” not the “need to haves”. So those on low incomes will still need to buy the neccessities for survival while paying the current GST on them.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The obvious answer is to drop GST altogether as that would allow local businesses here to compete with offshore businesses that don’t have to charge GST.

  4. Carol 4

    And it looks like the battle for the Pacific is hotting up, involving a complex interweaving of various elements of the military-industrial complex.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/103081/joint-exercise-signals-us-interest-in-asia-pacific

    An upcoming military exercise between New Zealand and the United States – the first of its kind in more than 25 years – is being seen as a further signal of America’s renewed interest in the Asia-Pacific.

    And is this related to the intensified struggle over the Pacific?

    http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8450874/fourth-ranked-chinese-leader-to-visit

    He’s chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and will be hosted by Acting Prime Minister Bill English.

    Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the government is committed to building stronger links with China.

    Hmmmm, it seems Key doesn’t fall over himself to visit China and meet Chinese top officials as he does with the US, Obama et al.

  5. Carol 5

    The headline says it all:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6741946/No-Christchurch-rental-crisis-Pontius-Brownlee

    Though it should be acknowledge that the Pontius quote is from Lianne Dalziel. I’m waiting for someone to do the photoshop mashup.

  6. millsy 6

    Is it just me, or are councils around the country slashing and burning their way through hall, parks, playgrounds, social housing, libraries, toilets and other community own assets?

    Why isn’t someone jumping up and down about this?

    • muzza 6.1

      Public sector assets are the natural prey of the private sector as and as councils steadily go broke, and indeed become bankrupt, more and more will be “let go”.

      Assets paid for and maintained my our taxes hocked off and given away….

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Councils are already bankrupt.

        There’s no way they can ever fund the borrowing they’re taking on. Anyone who imagines that in some future rates are going to stop increasing, or start decreasing, while the council can pay back existing borrowing, is dreaming.

        • muzza 6.1.1.1

          Yeah its crazy the thing I hear from people – ‘You know those warfies all earning 91K , we cant afford it, our rates will keep going up” , “Lens tran set, we just cant afford that, becuase the rates bill keep going up” etc….very simple thinking from people..

          Auckland Council assets sales where kept off the table as a funding option, but they are going to go for sure, its just a question of time…and when it does, listen to the people cheering who think their rates are going to go down following any sales….NEVER HAPPENING!

          Dreaming, spot on Lanth!

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.1

            The problem is that cost inflation,including rates, is outstripping incomes.

            And the means of keeping wages in line with costs, Unions, no longer have any power due to anti-worker legislation.

  7. In his sports column in the ODT Brent Edwards talks about “faceless critics and social media making life hell for rugby coaches” in relation to the disgraceful abuse of Pat Lam this week.

    It’s a form of cowardice. How can you judge the merit, or otherwise, of someone’s opinion if you don’t know the person or their background?

    But the personal and rascist abuse directed at Lam, and his family and players, has nothing to do with rugby and everything to do with people sniping away under cover of anonymity.

    It’s an issue which should concern all New Zealanders. It’s time for the faceless critics to shut up or be held to account.

    This isn’t about anonymity, even though it does aid some cretins. What is important is for the majority of decent people commenting online to stand up against it. Anonymous people can play as much a part in this as well as identifable people.

    Speak up against abuse, personal attacks and online cowardice and it will be less of a problem.

    Faceless critics and social media…

    • felix 7.1

      I think I’ll leave the rugby people to dig their own holes. There’s no helping them.

      • tc 7.1.1

        Yes pretty distasteful and cowardly there’s no need to bring race or other non rugby matters into it.

        His record speaks for itself, an average coach that’s one of the akl boys who has been found out without on field leaders doing his job for him.

        • Morrissey 7.1.1.1

          Lam did not have the courage to name the source of the most vile abuse. Because he lacks the courage to speak out honestly, his tears are worthless, and he deserves little sympathy.

    • felix 7.2

      ps while you’re here Pete, what’s the Hair Pete position on selling more than 49% of the assets?

      Yay or nay?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      How can you judge the merit, or otherwise, of someone’s opinion if you don’t know the person or their background?

      From their use of facts and logic to back up their arguments to which the background of the person makes no difference.

    • Morrissey 7.4

      “Faceless critics and social media”?

      Stop pretending, Pete. The worst and most consistent racial abuse directed at Polynesian footballers in this country is not from “faceless critics”. You know, and Brian Edwards know, who the perpetrators of this foulness are.

      Murray Deaker, Paul Holmes, Leighton Smith, and Tony Veitch. Every single one of them has been the subject of serious complaints about racist statements made on NewstalkZB. And every one of them has been found guilty.

      Stop pretending that the abuse is from “faceless critics”.

  8. The Economist projects NZ economy is on crash course to doom if big changes aren’t made soon. Don’t be surprised if National doesn’t get us in the black when it said it would…

    “New analysis confirms what most of us already fear – the New Zealand economy is on a crash course with doom if big changes aren’t made soon.

    Projections by The Economist show that by 2050 New Zealand would have the second highest debt as a percentage of our GDP.

    If changes aren’t made soon then the country’s economy would be in a crisis and government funding would be heavily restricted.

    Japan would have the highest debt, but countries which are currently in a dire economic state – such as Spain, Greece and Portugal, would fare better than New Zealand, the United States and Britain, according to The Economist.

    The data analysed what countries are doing to adjust spending and revenue with the aim of bringing public debt down to safe levels by 2050.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6739607/Crash-course-to-debt-doom

    • millsy 8.1

      Yet another bloke who sit on his arse in an office all day calling for those at the bottom to make do with less so he can have more…

      He wont have anything to worry about when he retires, no doubt that he has a gold plated pension with lucrative consultancies on the side to look forward to in his golden years.

      • As much as I am ideologically opposed to social cuts we need to be realistic unless we want to end up like Spain.

        • muzza 8.1.1.1

          Depends what you mean by social cuts…actually if we just cut out corporate welfare that would be a great start…Why do people keep repeating such drivel about social welfare.

          Its social security!

          And perhaps lets look at how we are funding any boroowing, rergardless of what its being used for!

          RBNZ Audit anyone?

          • Southern Limits 8.1.1.1.1

            I’m a big fan of raising taxes.

            Spain got into the mess it is in now due in large part to unaffordable social programmes, ie pensions, retiring age etc.

            The mess we are in now is largely National’s fault for cutting taxes in the first place, but that still doesn’t make things like increasing paid parental leave more affordable. Obviously if we were in charge we would remove corporate welfare yadda yadda yadda but at the moment we’re not so we need to support policies that are economically responsible.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          Depends upon what you mean by realistic. The present socio-economic system we slave under is unrealistic, in fact it’s completely delusional. We really do have enough resources to keep everybody in a reasonable living standard but the socio-economic system is designed to give control (ownership) of those resources to a few rich people which is what causes the poverty that we see around us.

          • Southern Limits 8.1.1.2.1

            Draco, I totally agree. Unfortunately our delusional economic system is what we currently have to work with and so we have to make realistic decisions under that system until we can implement something better ie as much as I think increasing paid parental leave is a fantastic idea it doesn’t make it any more affordable and if we are going to be fiscally responsible that really should be the be all and end all. It’s all very well to give National shit for it’s ‘neutral tax cuts’ but in my opinion it’s just as treasonous to implement social programmes that are paid for by borrowing money from overseas, ala Spain for the last 10-15 years.

            • KJT 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Too right.

              We should be funding ourselves, like we did in the 30’s, and increasing revenue by charging the wealthy what they really cost us.

              The cause of the problem is Government undercharging for the services provided.

              Those who benefit most from the system are getting a free ride. We now have one of the worlds most regressive overall tax policies.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.2

              IMO, there’s three things we need to do under current circumstances:-
              1.) Make realistic decisions within the financial system we use
              2.) Make it clear that the financial system is the problem and
              3.) Make suggestions on what to replace the present system

              but in my opinion it’s just as treasonous to implement social programmes that are paid for by borrowing money from overseas,

              I’ve been saying for sometime that the government never needs to borrow and, in fact, should never do so. It can print the money that it needs and then reclaim that money from the system via taxes. It’s the same way the present system works but it’s no longer the private banks that are printing the money and then charging for privilege (interest).

              • Definitely agree with the first three points.

                The trouble with governments printing money is that past a certain threshold it is highly inflationary. Plenty of countries have done it in the past but with mixed results. The reason the US Fed was largely successful with it’s money printing scheme after the Housing Bubble is because it is still the dollar standard and in high demand, a luxury that New Zealand does not enjoy.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The trouble with governments printing money is that past a certain threshold it is highly inflationary.

                  If it’s not controlled properly then, yes, it can be. The interesting point though is that the banks printing of money, which produces around 50% to 80% (I would supply the link to the research I read but it was some time ago and I can’t remember where) of the inflation that we see is never mentioned. As I said it’s the same system that is presently used but controlled by the government, not by the private banks and doesn’t have interest on it forcing unsustainable growth.

                  The reason the US Fed was largely successful with it’s money printing scheme after the Housing Bubble is because it is still the dollar standard and in high demand…

                  That was part of the reason and the other, more important, part was that they only gave it to the banks.

                  • “That was part of the reason and the other, more important, part was that they only gave it to the banks.”

                    That’s simply not true. You can see here the various groups the stimulus money was given to including tax rebates to every citizens well as the “cash for clunkers” program. http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Are you confusing TARP and the ARRA?

                      The Fed didn’t run the stimulus package, Treasury did. It was funded through debt. you could argue that the debt was raised through T-bills bought by people who got the money via Fed Reserve money printing I suppose, but even if that’s true, it doesn’t contradict what was said…

                    • Ahhh yup whoops. Thanks for the correction Pascal.

                • freedom

                  SL, hate to break it to you but the US Federal Reserve is a private bank. The US has borrowed every cent of its economy since 1911 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. It is why the US Income Tax was introduced, to pay the interest, the loan itself just sits there unpaid and growing into the bloated tumor that it is.

                  • It’s a public/private conglomerate with the large majority of profit being paid to U.S. treasury. It pays a statutory 6% dividend to the member banks and the rest goes to Treasury.

                • Foreighn Waka

                  SL – After WWII – In an effort to free international trade and fund postwar reconstruction, the member states agreed to fix their exchange rates by tying their currencies to the U.S. dollar. American politicians, meanwhile, assured the rest of the world that its currency was dependable by linking the U.S. dollar to gold; $1 equaled 35 oz. of bullion. Nations also agreed to buy and sell U.S. dollars to keep their currencies within 1% of the fixed rate. And thus the golden age of the U.S. dollar began. (extract). This was the Brenton Woods system, established 1944.
                  The Bretton Woods system itself collapsed in 1971, when President Richard Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold — a decision made to prevent a run on Fort Knox, which contained only a third of the gold bullion necessary to cover the amount of dollars in foreign hands.
                  From the Web:
                  SUMMARY OF QUICK FACTS
                  1a. The Federal Reserve (FED) is a PRIVATELY OWNED, organization. Unbelievable? Check the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA.
                  b. Below is the list of the owners of the 12 Central Banks:
                  – Rothschild Bank of London
                  – Rothschild Bank of Berlin
                  – Lazard Brothers of Paris
                  – Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
                  – Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
                  – Warburg Bank of Hamburg
                  – Lehman Brothers of New York
                  – Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
                  – Goldman, Schs of New York
                  – Chase Manhattan Bank of New York

                  • Bored

                    Most of the literature around Bretton Woods ascribes the agreement as one designed to prevent the conditions that they believed lead to depression and war. Reading the list of interested parties above you might now conclude that it was more likely a “wash-up” of international financial affairs too carry on the old imperial system under the umbrella of the new global imperial power (USA) and its vassal European states. And it leaves very little doubt who was in charge: the bankers.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Yes, this is the case. The extremely sad part is that we finance directly and indirectly all the wars which are costing an enormous amount. 1.6 trillion (TRILLION) dollars and rising. The military expenditure has risen 50% since 2001. It comprised about 2.6% of Worldwide GDP. One can only imagine what could be done with half of it.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      If changes aren’t made soon then the country’s economy would be in a crisis and government funding would be heavily restricted.

      Which is the course that this government actually wants as it gives them an excuse to flog off the family silver (state assets).

  9. Jim Nald 9

    Lobbying Disclosure Bill – good initiative by the Greens, thanks to Wednesday’s Editorial in the Herald:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/international-politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503226&objectid=10797937

    Apologies if this Bill has been discussed on The Standard. I stumbled on this Herald piece while looking for something else (these days, I avoid reading the hard copy or online) but this Editorial is worth reading. Quite unbelievable. Did the Editorial desk get hijacked during the long holiday weekend & on Tuesday by truthseekers?

  10. muzza 10

    The next batch of brainwashed, indoctrinated Parliamentarians for Global Order from NZ!

    I know some of you here support Labour, but you need to understand that many of the past and present Labour party, and others including the Greens, have made these voyages, and spend time inside the gulags of the USA.

    There is nothing of value for Kiwis to have our money spent to send groups over, only to return as the next generation mouth piece for the corrupted systems which are exported around the world just like this – Or with bombs!

    Time people realised that their “teamsters” are little more than brainwashed, rinsed out groupies!

  11. Jackal 11

    Blobbying

    I often wonder why the mainstream media interview old blubberguts all the time. He is so discredited as a commentator and therefore not a credible witness…

    • Treetop 11.1

      I’m with you on this, as the mainstream media interview a right wing blogger and some how hope to write a fair and balanced article.

      What has happened to fair and balanced media reporting in NZ?

      • Anne 11.1.1

        What has happened to fair and balanced media reporting in NZ?

        Relatively young and ignorant journalists, reporters, producers and editorial staff who have been captured by intellectually backward right-wing a——-s such as Slater. Oh and you can throw in a few older hands too like Paul Holmes and co.

  12. We must do everything we can to keep our rail infrastructure intact.

    “Gisborne residents have turned out in force, demanding that KiwiRail sink up to $4.3 million into repairing their railway line.

    Mayor Meng Foon estimated “at least 2000″ people took part in a march through the city today in a bid to save the region’s rail link.

    The message from the march was “fix our rail” and was directed at KiwiRail and the Government, Foon said.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6743910/Gisborne-residents-march-to-save-line

    • Kevin Welsh 12.1

      I am in complete agreement SL, unfortunately we are dealing with a company that appears to be actively trying to put itself out of business.

      Because basic maintenance in this line has been neglected, we now have the situation that KiwiRail wanted all along. The opportunity to shut the line down. Their inability to do such basic maintenance, like keep culverts clear of debris, has resulted in the washouts on the line.

      A lot of work from interested parties, not including KiwiRail, has seen freight movements increase massively in the last six months.

      With the amount of forestry coming on line at the moment, road-based freight will not be able to keep up. KiwiRail has stalled repeatedly on setting up an inland port at Gisborne which will result in three rail movements a day direct to the port so loading can be done direct from the wagons, instead of two to three hundred truck movements through to Gisborne’s port involving double handling.

      If $30 million can be found to build a viaduct to save two minutes off the traveling time from Gisborne to Napier, and $15 million and counting to repair the Manawatu gorge, why can’t we find $4.3 million to repair this vital piece oh Hawkes Bay infrastructure?

      Naturally, Chris Tremain and Craig Foss will be noticeable by their absence on this one.

  13. Morrissey 13

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/honor-roll/

    HONOR ROLL

    A short list of Israel’s past unwelcome guestsGunter Grass is not the first prominent figure to be declared unwelcome in Israel, over the years several other famous visitors have been granted similar treatment.

    April 2012. On Sunday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared the German author Gunter Grass persona non grata in Israel,after he published a poem claiming that Israel is a threat to world peace.

    “Gunter’s poems are an attempt to fan the flames of hatred against the State of Israel and the Israeli people, and thus to advance the ideas to which he was publicly partner in the past, when he wore the uniform of the SS,” Yishai said, adding, “If Gunter wants to continue publicizing his distorted and false works, I suggest he do it from Iran, where he’ll find a supportive audience.”

    A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the decision was made in accordance with the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, and that Grass wore an SS uniform in the past.

    May 2010.</b? American linguist Noam Chomsky was denied entry into the West Bank and Israel when he arrived from Amman to the Allenby border crossing,along with his daughter and two American citizens, an Arab-American mathematics professor and a professor of international relations. At the crossing, Chomsky was questioned about his identification as an anarchist and was prevented for entering the West Bank, where he was scheduled to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University.

    The Interior Ministry later insisted the decision to bar Chomsky’s entry was the result of a technical error, as responsibility for coordinating the entrance of foreign citizens into the West Bank lies with the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories at the Defense Ministry.

    “Denying me entry into the West Bank is a minor event, but it is significant because it shows how irrational Israel’s actions are,” said Chomsky of the event.

    May 2010. Ivan Prado, Spain’s most famous clown, was accused of ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations in the West Bank and refused entry into Israel, after being interrogated at the airport for six hours by Shin Bet and Interior Ministry officials. Israel’s Foreign Ministry later said the episode caused serious damage to Israel’s image in Spain.

    May 2008. Israel bars entry to American-Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein, at the Shin Bet’s orders. Finkelstein, a prominent critic of Israel’s occupation, was arrested at the airport after arriving from Amsterdam. He was interrogated for several hours, held in a detention facility at the airport and then put on a flight back to Amsterdam. He later said he was forbidden to return to Israel for a period of ten years.

    June 2004. Interior Minister Avraham Poraz prevents the entry of British journalist Peter Hounam. Poraz said that according to information provided by the Shin Bet, Hounam exchanged letters with and sought to interview Mordechai Vanunu, a former nuclear technician imprisoned by Israel for years for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British media.

    Hounam later said Israel should be ashamed for arresting him, adding that he had been held in a “dungeon with excrement on the walls.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/a-short-list-of-israel-s-past-unwelcome-guests-1.423384

    • Foreighn Waka 13.1

      I am afraid that all these facts will not change anything whether here or the US. This is about keeping the relationships alive between the west and Israel as they are a militarized zone on the edge of the far east. Such is the price we have to pay for a peace that is based on war. And I want to add to this that I am disgusted with the latest news about Gunter Grass as it should by now be very clear that the policies regarding freedom and rights of people do not feature in Israel. There was another article recently published under the guise of official information but was disappearing fast from the news. Namely that Israel is now occupying land that holds the water wells of the Palestinians. Already almost half of the 70 odd wells have been taken to supply the ever growing occupied lands. This is another disaster in the making as unrest is sure to follow. I am certain that the excuse will be that Israel has to defend themselves.

      • Bored 13.1.1

        You often wonder why the USA has been the principle sponsor of the Zionist state, closely followed by European states. Have a look at the names of the banks who own the Fed you have posted above….one wonders. I am not sure it is safe to even mention for fear of being branded anti semitic.

        • muzza 13.1.1.1

          Well Bored, I don’t think one needs to worry about such charges along those lines being dished out, because those at the top are following a rulebook which is little to do with their perceived religion or ethnicity!

  14. Morrissey 14

    If only we knew who these racists were…

    Radio Sport/NewstalkZB, Saturday 14 April 2012
    About 1:40 p.m. ….

    “Hideous! I tell you some of the stuff is ab-so-luuuutely hideous!”

    So speaks one TONY “Boot Boy” VEITCH, solemnly denouncing the “anonymous” posters of racist filth aimed at Auckland Blues coach Pat “Lachrymose” Lam.

    If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Veitch really was incensed, and that the posters really were “unknown” to good decent folk like, errr, Tony Veitch. In fact of course, he is perfectly aware of the origin of these “hideous” comments. They have been a disturbing feature on NewstalkZB for at least a generation, and on its sister station Radio Sport since it began broadcasting in April 1998. The worst (though not the only) perpetrators of this endless diet of racial taunts are: Murray Deaker, Paul Holmes, Leighton Smith, and …. (wait for it)…Tony “Boot Boy” Veitch.

    This afternoon, playing along with Veitch in this grotesque charade are Christchurch-based commentator Brian Ashby and Prime TV’s Eric Young. Ashby, speaking in the most serious tone he can muster, says that “this racism is not just an Auckland thing.” He’s right in one way—Deaker’s sonorous declamations about Pacific Island “boofheads”, their “lack of intelligence” and their “inability to concentrate” have disgusted the citizens of Christchurch and Dunedin just as much as they have shocked and appalled Aucklanders. As have Veitch’s racist slurs against black American athletes.

    But Ashby, just like Pat Lam himself, still pretends that “we don’t know” who this “tiny minority” of racists are.

    And so does Eric Young. Young says he was initially indignant that South African journalist Mark Keohane had made comments about the anti-Polynesian comments he had heard in Auckland last year during the RWC. But then, after “reflecting”, Young “had to acknowledge” that Keohane had a point: there are racists out there.

    Now if only we could find out who they are!

    • Bored 14.1

      It does sort of leave you wondering if the people who pay for the adverts that pay for the shockjocks know something about the nature of those who purchase the goods and services advertised…….

      PS As Lomu did for rigby terminology (to be Lomued) Veitch has done for domestic abuse.

  15. Olwyn 15

    This looks to me like a good move on Labour’s part, since we do have a historical pile-up of questionable convictions. I have always been most uneasy about the conviction of Scott Watson, for instance. What is more, there is something truly vile about insisting on being tough on crime, while being casual about wrongful conviction.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10798717

    • Anne 15.1

      Yes, I saw that article Olwyn and was very pleased. That is, until I read the piece at the end :

      Justice Minister Judith Collins said there was no need for a review because New Zealand had one of the best performing justice systems in the world.

      What a pathetic response from a pathetic minister.

      • Olwyn 15.1.1

        Yes, it is sad that one comes to more-or-less expect that kind of mean-spirited, off-hand response from Collins and her ilk. In fact it would be startling if she said something thoughtful or considered.

  16. Old Tony 16

    Thank goodness the government has the courage to veto the nonsense around extended paid parental leave. If passed it would end up as the third leg of Labour’s stool (in both senses) along with no-interest student loans and the extension of working for families in comprising a huge political and economic liability that cannot readily be wound back.

    While in its nine years Labour did some good things, it is also clear that the first two of these policies have done much to blight our present government’s ability to balance its books. I for one would much rather see a cessation of the current cuts to the public service in exchange for a couple of percent applied to student loans. But politically it’s not practicable because people have structured their lives around these policies, which is why so much more care should have been taken around their introduction than Labour ever bothered to give.

    • McFlock 16.1

      of course, taxing those who have reaped most of the benefit from living in NZ hasn’t occurred to you.

      • Old Tony 16.1.1

        Of course the problems associated with making it even more attractive to leave for Australia for better wages and lower taxes haven’t occurred to you.

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          Lower taxesReally?
                
          No reason to not raise the top tax rate to 45c for everything NZ$180,000 over, then.
               
          It’s the shit wages that we have a problem with, and those are the result of stronger union in Aus than NZ and a decades-long neglect in NZ of actually making stuff, developing new research and educating our young. Why have we neglected these things? Because the argument was that we didn’t have the money to pay for them. And that is apparently because rich people care more about a few percent tax than they do the country that raised them.
            
          Interest-free student loans are actually one of the few steps in the right direction.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.1.1.2

          Do you see what McFlock did there, Old Tony? I wonder where you came by your false beliefs. Does your complete ignorance concern you, or do you cling to it like a security blankie?

          • Old Tony 16.1.1.2.1

            Yes I did see what he did there. He debated with me; all power to him. Something you are clearly incapable of.

            • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Considering the ignorance that you display I’d say that you’re the one incapable of debate.

              The government could easily afford all the policies that you mentioned – just need to readjust the taxes. Of course, this government won’t do that as it much prefers to reward rich people for being rich and punish poor people for being poor.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Old Tony, I asked you direct questions. Are you concerned that you are repeating falsehoods? Where did you come by these untrue notions? Have you been lied to or are you a more active participant?

              Were those questions too hard?

  17. felix 17

    I don’t like the new batch of troll handles much. They’re all faux-politeness and sleaze.

    Boring, guys.

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    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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There will be a (hopefully) short reconfiguring of the databases going on at some point this evening whenever traffic dies down a bit.